Enterprise grant scheme

About the Enterprise Grant

Do you need help with marketing your business, or help to purchase equipment for your business? Our Enterprise Grant may be able to help.

The Enterprise Grant scheme has been operating in the District for many years and offers a grant for pre-starts and start-up businesses who have been trading for less than 36 months and based in the district. 

You could get:

  • A grant up to £2000
  • Discretionary one off grants of £500

Businesses must support their application with a sound business plan and accurate financial projections. All grants are up to 50% of project total with the above restrictions. The process for applying is:

  • Application form with detail of what is being applied for. 
  • This must be accompanied by a business plan, showing what the business is about, how it will sell to its customers, who its customers are and the individuals’ qualifications to run that particular business.
  • The application must also have accompanying financial forecasts detailing income projections, line-by-line analysis of expenditure.

Our business advisors provide support for the application process and can assist candidates who are unsure of certain business-related topics. Where appropriate further business guidance and training is given through workshops and seminars or face to face with other businesses and advisors.

Our business advisors can assist applicants unaccustomed to considering business-related issues and support the application process. When necessary, additional business training and guidance is provided in-person with other companies and advisors or through workshops and seminars.

A small grants panel make the decisions on grant applications.

For further information, please contact Fiona Humpage, Enterprise Support Manager, fiona.humpage@bassetlaw.gov.uk


Successful applicants

We are showcasing some of our successful Enterprise Grant applicants. Telling us more about their business, and what they put their grant money towards.

Watch their interviews here on our YouTube Channel or read more below.


Summit Signs

Summit Signs

Tell us a little about your business.

We’re Summit Signs, a sign business. We cater to all kinds of businesses like schools, shops, cafés, small businesses or traders that have their own vehicles and provide all kinds of signage.

Please can you tell us what you spend the Enterprise Grant money on?

We’ve used it for some advertising at Retford Cricket Club, some development work on our website like adding more products and working on the SEO, some more work wear like jackets and hoodies, a Canva subscription and a laptop for myself.

Please tell us your experience in applying for the enterprise grants?

It was a bit of a length process but thankfully I had Fiona Humpage as someone to help with a lot of the financial side. She was really helpful, on the phone and in person. Once the actual application form was done she also proofed and checked it and then everything was really straight forward. Everyone in the panel meeting were really friendly and lovely and made me feel very comfortable, it was more of an informal chat.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying for the grants?

I’d say go for it. Don’t be put off by the lengthy application process because once you start, it isn’t hard anyway and you do get a lot of support. The panel meeting is really enjoyable and everyone is just there to support you and give you advice and support you along your way. It’s definitely worth doing.



Phillip Rutherford - Ruddy Duck Printshop

Phil from Ruddy Duck Printshop

Please tell us a little about yourself and your business.

My name is Phillip Rutherford, I’m the owner of Ruddy Duck Printshop. We started the business about two years ago and it was because my wife’s got a dance studio and we were struggling to find people to supply merchandise for that, branded merchandise. And so eventually my wife persuaded me to get some equipment and we started.

Please tell us what you spent the Enterprise Grant money on?

So we used the grant money to buy this embroidery machine. Up to yet we’ve been doing prints onto garments but we really wanted to offer embroidery, so this is awesome. It was out of our price range without the grants so getting that has really accelerated our growth.

Please tell us your experience applying for the Enterprise Grants?

Applying for the grant was really simple. It was a form that I downloaded. I had a business advisor help me with the process, what to say, how to fill it in and once I’d completed it they looked at it, gave me some feedback which was really helpful. I filled it out again and emailed it off and it was that simple.

Coming before the board was a little bit nerve-wracking but they were really friendly, they just wanted to know about the business and what my aspirations were, there were a few questions back and forth and yeah, really simple and easy.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying for the Grants?

I think anybody else thinking about applying for the grant should just go for it, don’t be nervous or scared. It was really simple, really easy, lots of support there for you. And yeah the outcome was I got a grant to buy the machine which really, really helped our business.

Amanda Johns - The Cleaning Lady

Amanda Johns - The Cleaning Lady

Please tell us a bit about your company and why you started it.

Hi, my name is Amanda. My story started in January when I unexpectedly lost my job after 16 years. I had to find a job which would work around my children, the school run, a busy life. I’ve always liked cleaning and I’ve always been a bit OCD with it so I decided to set up my own cleaning business.

What you have used the grant money for?

The Enterprise Grant has helped me loads with my business to just buy the equipment I needed which I wouldn’t have been able to afford by myself without them.

What would you say to anyone wanting to set up or newly established business about the grant?

I just want to say to anybody who has been thinking about or looking into being self-employed, whatever business, not just cleaning like I do, but any small business is to just go for it, just see what your local council are offering for people to help them out and just go for it really. There’s nothing to lose, I did it and I did not know where it was going to go and it has changed my life.

See the full video on our Facebook page.


Suzy Shinner Nutrition, Retford

What did you use the grant money to buy?

I used the grant money for my website build, branding, marketing and some office equipment, including a new laptop.

What would you say to anyone wishing to apply for and enterprise grant?

I would encourage anyone starting a new business to go ahead and apply for the enterprise grant. The grant money was so invaluable in setting up my business - it really helped get me up and running as quickly as possible. Going through the process of writing a business plan is so important, so I would recommend spending as much time on that as possible. 

How did you find the process, sitting in front of the panel?

Although it might seem a bit daunting sitting in front of the panel, the process was straightforward, and the members of the panel were really encouraging and supportive. There were no trick questions, and their feedback was very helpful. 


Zoe and Barry, The Mobile Pizza Company

The Mobile Pizza Company

Please tell us a bit about your company and why you started it.

I was a teacher for 12 years and after getting pregnant with my second son, my grandad and I decided it was too much to take on two kids under 5, teach full time and have a huge commute.

So we came up with the hare-brained idea based on nothing but ambition that we would set up a mobile food truck and that is how we ended up where I’m in now, which is cooking delicious pizzas out of a mobile horse trailer, called 'Barry' who is named after my grandad.

My husband has done all of the tiling, he has fitted the kitchen and the pizza oven.

What did you spend the money on?

We used all of the grant money and more to make Barry what he is now. With a pizza dome, proper tiling indoors and a fully fitted kitchen as well.

How did you find the process of applying for Enterprise Grants, and what would you say to anyone wanting to set up or newly established business about the grant?

All I had to do was go on the local council website and I was able to find out about the grant. So if you are living in Bassetlaw and thinking about starting a small business or even just an idea of a small business, you can look on there and see which grants are available and how you can apply.

I applied and then spent three or four nights worrying that they were going to grill me on maths, and that it was going to be like Dragons Den, which it actually wasn't. It was more like Loose Women than Dragons Den!

However, I would definitely say, if you are sitting there now hating your job, thinking ‘what on earth do I do?’, there are ways out of it. Just have a look and reach out to Bassetlaw Council and see what's available, and good luck!


Keiran Allan, Obviously Optical, Retford

Keiran Allan, Obviously Optical

Please tell us a bit about your company and why you started it.

I created Obviously Optical as I wanted to offer a personalised, professional and convenient service. We offer appointments in the customers home at a time to suit them and in the next few weeks will be able to offer appointment in our shop too. These appointments are available at a time to suit the customer, whether that be early in the morning or late at night 7 days a week. When I created the company I wanted to guarantee expertise to ensure every pair of glasses is exactly what the customer needs and wants for their lifestyle - between myself and my colleague Wendy we have over 40 years of optical experience so when it comes to glasses there won't be a thing we haven’t seen and resolved already!

What you have used the grant money for?

The grant money has been used for leaflets, our beautiful shop sign, advertising in Made magazine and the Retford life and also a sign at Retford Cricket Club. 

What would you say to anyone wanting to set up or newly established business about the grant?

The grant has certainly helped us progress quicker than we would have been able to so we are extremely grateful that it was awarded and the process for everything has been extremely easy! 

Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024